I just needed some cream cheese. I walked into the Fresh Market just intending to buy cream cheese. My behavior, though, I am quite sure engendered some curiosity or even alarm from my fellow shoppers. On the way to the cream cheese I passed an iced bin. In it were whole ribeye loins that if individually cut would yield about twelve lovely steaks. I approached and inspected the meat. It was pretty.
Then I looked at the price. Seventy dollars. Gosh, that seemed like a lot of money. Maybe I’d pass them by. I continued on to the cream cheese section and got my container. But the steaks were calling me. I meandered back to the bin and inspected them again. Seventy dollars. Maybe I’d just buy a flank steak. I went over to the butcher case and looked at the flank steak. It was $8.99 a pound. This is the Fresh Market. Too expensive. I figured by the time I got done cutting the steaks, they’d be about $5.99 a pound. But seventy dollars. I went back to the bin of steaks. This was my third trip and by now some of the people around me were staring. Maybe I’d get a free olive from the olive cart and mull this decision over. Oh, hell. So I just picked up that hunk of meat and headed for checkout before I changed my mind.
So here I am. Cutting up ribeyes. And that’s really the lesson for today. Just like buying a whole chicken and cutting it up is cheaper than buying the already processed pieces, buying a whole slab of beef is cheaper. And the great thing is you can cut the steaks to just the thickness you like.
So at the end of the day, I got twelve steaks for $5.99 a pound, Mark got his favorite meal (he’s such a meat eater…it’s a legacy from a childhood when only beans and cornbread were on the table many nights) and my cheapskate tendencies were well fed.
Sour Cream Smashed Potatoes
1 pound baby fingerling or red potatoes
½ stick butter
¼ cup milk
2 heaping tablespoons sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring two quarts of water to a boil. Cut each potato into quarters. Boil until tender when pierced by a fork. Drain and put back into the pot and let potatoes dry for a minute. Add butter and milk. Mash with a potato masher (this is a simple device but the best one for the job – if you don’t have one, invest in one). Stir in sour cream and salt and pepper to taste.